AAA: Distracted driving a growing danger

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We’re digging deeper into results of an alarming study by AAA.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness month. Distracted driving is topping the list of dangers on the road. 

According to a new study, all of us think distracted driving is bad, yet almost all of us are guilty of doing it.

What are some ways you can break the habit? 

Examples of distracted driving are texting, putting on makeup or eating while behind the wheel. These are habits drivers are doing more frequently on midstate roads. 

The annual Traffic Safety Culture Index is a study done by AAA every year to learn what issues drivers face and how they feel about it. 

According to the information just released 88% of drivers said distracted driving is on the rise, topping other behaviors like aggressive driving, drivers using drugs and drunk driving. 

According to AAA distracted driving kills thousands of people every year. In 2016 37,000 lives were claimed on U.S. roads and distracted driving is partly to blame. 

AAA is looking for ways to make our roads safer. 

Texting and driving is now illegal in Pennsylvania but many other forms of distracted driving are simply frowned upon.

AAA said the culture of distracted driving is “Do as I say, not as I do.” A lot of people are reporting the bad habit as a danger but at the same time are admit to doing it. 

AAA Central PA Public Relations spokeswoman Doni Lee Spiegel said “I don’t know if it’s a ‘just this one-time’ mentality or ‘this is really important’ but just to take your eyes off the road for a second is so dangerous, anything could happen. Someone could run in front of you, cars move quickly so we have to make sure we pay attention”. 

Ideas from AAA to avoid distracted driving are pre-program your GPS and adjust seats, mirrors, climate controls, and sound systems before driving. Properly secure children and pets and store loose possessions and other items that could roll around in the car. Also, snack smart by avoiding messy foods that can be difficult to manage.

If you see someone distracted driving, let them go. Honking or trying to signal at them can be more dangerous for everyone on the road. AAA said the best thing you can do is share reasons and ways not to drive distracted with your friends and family. 

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